Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams gear up for a return to action with Heavy Woollen Derby

AFTER ALMOST an entire year without a fixture, Heavy Woollen rivals Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams return to action with a derby clash on Saturday.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 6:00 am
FRIENDLY FOES: Dewsbury Rams chairman Mark Sawyer (left) and Batley Bulldogs chairman Kevin Nicholas (right).
FRIENDLY FOES: Dewsbury Rams chairman Mark Sawyer (left) and Batley Bulldogs chairman Kevin Nicholas (right).

The Bulldogs haven’t played since a Championship defeat against Toulouse Olympique on March 7, 2020 while the Rams’ last fixture was a Challenge Cup loss to Newcastle Thunder on March 15, 2020.

Saturday’s friendly at the Fox’s Biscuit Stadium will be played behind closed doors due to Covid-19 restrictions but supporters can watch the action on Our League.

Fans can buy a match pass for £4.95 prior to game-day, with the price rising to £10 on Saturday.

Saturday's game will be played at the Fox's Biscuits Stadium. Picture: SWpix.com.

Bulldogs chairman Kevin Nicholas says the fixture can act as a fundraiser, with any profits from the streams to be split evenly between both clubs.

He said: “We missed the Boxing Day friendly which would have been up at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. This friendly is a substitute for that.

“It is still sad that we are going to be behind closed doors and that will be the case for some weeks but we are streaming games through OurLeague.

“Supporters need to join so they can watch the games. We are charging to watch the friendly, it is like a fundraiser for both clubs.

“There is a cost of streaming we have to cover and if we make any profit over and above that, we are sharing it equally between the clubs.

“People can buy a streaming pass and know they are helping both clubs survive.”

Dewsbury chairman Mark Sawyer echoed those sentiments, adding: “There are other costs to putting the match on because we have got to be Covid-19 compliant.

“It is not easy for us asking people to pay for streaming but it will come to both of the clubs evenly divided.

“People know that we work off the pitch together in looking at any elements in how we can help each other.

“It is going to be difficult moving forward. We are in a strong position, ready to go and desperate to play matches. Just like any supporters or players, we are desperate to get back.

“There is something at last to look forward to.”

Both chairmen are eager for a return to action, with Nicholas adding: “It has been a year since we stopped playing. We never thought it would come to a year without rugby. The two clubs have got through the year in a good position.”

Sawyer said: “It is brilliant that we are going to get a match on.”